Thank You for Protecting Our Freedom

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We want to take a moment to honor anyone who has served or who is currently serving in our U.S. Military. Everyone here at C. Crane is so grateful for your service and the freedoms that it protects.

These words from Coulby Dunn’s Veterans Day speech Nov 7, 2007 will hopefully give you pause in your thoughts surrounding Veterans Day and their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families. You can read the full transcript here.

….Let us never forget… that we cannot rightfully celebrate the joy of our freedom… without remembering the great price paid for that freedom.

We stagger…. at the eternal debt we owe… to the untold number of American Veterans…who chose to set aside…their personal ambitions and dreams… to assure the well being of our great nation. We, the living….are indeed… the beneficiaries… of those who made tremendous sacrifices for the advancement and surety of our liberty.

For those soldiers who have stood guard in peacetime… and to those who have seen the 
terror, the horror and inhumanity of combat — and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice – Let it be said that our soldiers have been there for America…. defending the Constitution of the United States…..

To all our veterans…. we have a simple yet heartfelt message — thank you – Thank you for your unwavering service in peacetime and war, here in this nation… and throughout the world….

Lastly…. I would like to talk about service to your country and community…… I have always felt it was an honor to serve my country and I continue to serve today….not in the military …. but in my community….. and all of you should be doing the same.

I know there are many mothers and fathers…… sitting in this gymnasium this evening….. where your services and talents are needed….I encourage all of you to volunteer your services to any number of endeavors …. Your church, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The Little League, the Parent Teachers Organization, your local fire company or ambulance association……. We can all make a difference in our community…. What better way can we as parents…… show our children how to live their lives…. than by serving others….

Please take a moment to ponder Mr. Dunn’s suggestions above about community service, and consider making time to thank a veteran or visit a memorial site.  Though not all of us are called to serve our country in the military, we can all serve our community in some way.

Battle of the Platforms

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We had an excellent comment from one of our blog readers recently on our blog post Is Radio in Crisis? “…….We need to get back to what made radio great in the 30s and 50s (and 60s and 70s) instead of trying to ‘beat’ the technology game. The PLATFORM is not relevant. The PROGRAMMING is.”

Platform battles aren’t limited to Podcasts vs. AM vs. FM vs. HD, etc. There’s also a battle for the platforms that include/exclude content. This is especially true when it comes to internet radio. When we first started offering internet radios back in 2006 everyone was just trying to stream. The streams weren’t great but you could get a lot of stations and there was a desire for adding listeners regardless of how they got there. The content available on internet and WiFi radio is pretty incredible.

As the technology progresses, different issues continue to appear. Some sites use flash players for their streams, which can’t play on devices without screens where you can press play (like our radios). Other networks, decide that they want you to listen through their app or device so they choose to limit the distribution of their content unless you are able to negotiate a licensing deal. Others change the format that they stream in to a less widely supported format or brand new format again limiting the devices the stream can be heard on.

There are content aggregators, meaning they don’t actually own any of the content. They gather it; host the database and often the website where it can be accessed; and work with chip manufacturers that create chips with access to their content on them. These then are embedded in devices like our radio. These aggregators can usually turn content on/off and add/remove streams (if it’s in an accepted format) – like Reciva, Frontier Silicon and TuneIn. Some have negotiated “premium” subscriptions that allow you to hear content that is otherwise not available via streams due to outside licensing agreements (like professional sports, archived shows, etc.). However, these premium services are often only available through their app or their web portal. There are also networks that own their own content like iHeartRadio (also known as Clear Channel) and Radio.com (CBS Radio Network). Maybe this provides some insight into why we call it the “Battle of the platforms”.

Our job here at C. Crane is to help listeners connect to their station, show or host regardless of the platform. There are times where an internet radio is the only viable solution such as when a person moves from Los Angeles to Florida but still wants to hear LA broadcasts. Or when Rush Limbaugh or George Noory  are no longer playing on a station they can receive, often we can help the listener find this content on another station.

It’s been interesting sharing “our job” with some of the content providers. Often there seems to be a disconnect within the networks themselves. Digital media in many cases is an entirely separate division or company. Sometimes the representatives don’t know the AM/FM market outside of call letters or what it says on their published papers. Some networks are changing staff, and appear to be working toward some better integration but there is a long way to go from what we see. Eliminating the platform wars and making it easier for companies to get listeners the content they want to hear would be a huge step in the right direction.

More than anything we try to be an advocate for the listener (because we listen too!). If you haven’t tried an internet radio, now might be a perfect time. Whether you choose one of our radios or another manufacturer, make sure to find out if the radio will play the content that you are trying to hear and supports any other functionality that is necessary for you to be happy with the radio (like Pandora, Bluetooth, clock or alarm, etc.).

For more information on what you might here on internet radio, read some past blog posts

Before You Give up Listening to Radio by Ken Hoffman, Columnist Houston Chronicle

A Secret Garden of Music

Check out this video on What You Might Hear

Also, if you’re having a tough time deciding, check out The Pros and Cons of WiFi and Internet Radio

How can we help you find a station you have lost, a host you are looking for? Contact us – we’re here to help!